Here's Another Thing I've Been Thinking About Lately:

Yvonne G

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If a SA leopard tortoise's eggs require a cool down period before the insides of the egg will start to develop, does that mean that SA leopard tortoises brumate during that same cool down period?
 

Tom

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The climate over there is temperate and very similar to ours here in southern CA. Is it brumation or hibernation? I really couldn't say. In some areas of their range it snows and the guy I met there in SA said that in his mountainous snowy area that they do hibernate. The SA ones certainly see some colder days than the more northern types, but I don't know if I'd call it brumation.

I know of another SA keeper that lets his tortoises get down to 65 in winter with no apparent ill effect.
 

Yvonne G

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The two I got from you are staying in the coolest part of the night house, not coming out now for about a week, and not eating. The other five are coming out and eating.
 
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Markw84

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One of the notable differences between brumation and true hibernation, is that a hibernating animal goes into an almost comatose state. It is sleeping unitl spring and oblivious to its surroundings. In brumation, a reptile is still semi-awake. They can be stimulated by environmental conditions into periods of activity. They often move about to drink and stay hydrated while brumating. So I would imagine in the climates we see in S Africa, the SA Leopard tortoise must brumate. All of the S African tortoises must as well in the true sense of the term "brumation".

In my pond, all my N American turtles brumate every winter. But they are always in various stages of what we see as and call "hibernation" In cold cloudy weeks, they stay at the bottom and look like rocks for weeks if weather does not change. If the sun comes out, a few will rise to the surface and some will even bask a bit. The next day or two, they will again sink to the bottom and do nothing for extended periods. Some will often walk about the bottom very slowly to find another spot to then become a rock again for days or weeks. Regardless of activity, they do not eat until water temps approach 50° in spring.

I would imagine this is very much the pattern you would see with S African tortoises.
 

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